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Have your say on school funding formula

Created on 19/09/2018 @ 17:18
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Parents, teachers and residents will get the chance to have their say on a new formula to fund schools.

The Schools “Fairer Funding Review” is now out to consultation until October 26.

It is in part a response to the dire financial situation in many Secondary and Primary Schools in the county.

Financial predictions for the next three years show that all secondary schools and many primary schools would go over the financial cliff edge.

The figures predict that schools could be £6.5million in the red by 2021.

In June, the Cabinet was forced to agree on deficit budgets for schools which they criticised for being in the red.

The new formula has been seen as an antidote to the budget problems.

But the equation which will come in to force next year will only be formulated after the responses from the 40 question consultation are collected and analysed.

A scrutiny meeting held in August to discuss the formula, saw councillors scratching their head in bewilderment.

They had been expecting to discuss lists of schools who won or lost funding under the formulation but were told by Education Department staff, that they were there to discuss the “principle” behind the change.

There, Finance Services Director, Jane Thomas, said there was “no magic money pot” to produce more money for schools.

At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, education portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, said that the department was addressing issues with the budget through the funding review.

Cllr Alexander, said: “We believe that the work we are doing will provide us with a robust set of criteria by which we can judge all school budgets in the future.

“I ask people to contribute to the consultation.”

“It’s not a question of sitting and watching deficit budgets accrue, we are taking action to sort it out.”

The consultation says: “The aim of the review is to fundamentally re-work the Schools funding formula, to create a formula that funds schools in a clear, transparent, objective and measurable way.

The intention is that the formula should be:

Clear and transparent
Objective and measurable
Predictable in effect
Without perverse incentives
Represents the cost of providing a minimum core provision
Sustainable, both educationally and financially
The consultation document explains that the “fundamental design is based on the need to bring educational and financial planning together at a local authority level”

“In the same way that a school senior leadership team and governing body will in a school.”

A simple formula means that schools can prepare their own medium-term forecasts, allowing it to plan its staffing and curriculum choices.

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